May 30, 2024

Transforming Workplace Gamification: From Metrics to Narratives

Workplace gamification incorporates game elements such as points, scores, and leaderboards to make tasks and goals more engaging and competitive. By infusing fun and interactive elements into the work environment, it motivates employees, fosters collaboration, and boosts productivity. With clear goals, milestones, and rewards, workplace gamification creates a dynamic and rewarding atmosphere that drives performance and enhances overall workplace satisfaction.

It is widely proven that the motivation, engagement of employees in corporate training and technical skill development has increased due to gamification of learning in the workplace.

Few examples of gamification in workplace are : 

  • Employee onboarding 
  • Corporate training
  • Gamification Quiz for learning
  • Gamified product learning etc

Gamification is used for productivity, growth of the employees also by creating a competitive environment. And also many employees state that training in an organisation is boring and mundane and the addition of game elements have created interest in them by 33%.

Many MNCs use gamification. Below are the examples:

  • Bosh using gamification to build HR analytics skills
  • Cisco in learning and development
  • On boarding at deloitte 
  • And many more

While workplace gamification has predominantly been used for learning and training purposes, its potential extends beyond that realm. Few companies have realized the power of gamification in driving task completion, productivity, and employee growth. By incorporating key performance indicators (KPIs) and objectives and key results (OKRs) into gamification strategies, organizations have witnessed increased employee participation, enhanced productivity, and improved performance.

However, it is important to strike a balance. Solely focusing on metrics for gamification may lead to unhealthy competition or employee disengagement over time, resulting in a plateau effect. A thoughtful approach is crucial to sustain long-term interest and drive continuous improvement.

Incorporating narratives or storytelling into game elements of workplace gamification can be a powerful tool. Stories have a universal appeal and captivate our attention, making them easier to understand and more engaging. By integrating narratives, the experience of workplace gamification can be enhanced significantly. Employees are likely to show more interest, become more involved, and have a deeper connection with the gamified tasks and goals. The use of storytelling adds a layer of meaning and emotional resonance, making the workplace gamification experience more compelling and memorable.

My idea is to combine gamification and narratives in sprint tasks and user stories, resulting in improved engagement, enjoyment, and productivity. By incorporating elements like points and leaderboards, and adding storytelling, we can transform mundane processes into dynamic and rewarding experiences for teams.

So, here is the basic example for the same using a narrative and gamification in sprints:

Narrative

This narrative based on RPG games and the theme I have chosen over here is “Adventure Games”

Adventurer’s Guild is an organisation where clients or customers give tasks  and the adventure Guild posts it on its task board where the registered adventurers select the task that best suits them based on their current rank, level of the task etc. The task can be performed individually or with a group(adventure party). 

Each adventure has a status card and has the following information. Name, age, status, no.of tasks undertaken, tasks completed successfully, tasks failed successfully, rewards, Level,Ranks etc.,

Rules and Regulations:

  • An adventurer can only take up the tasks up to 1 or 2 levels above him. 
  • Each Rankl has a criteria and if met the adventurer is available to be promoted to the next Rank. 
  • The Rank ranges from F to S and f being the lowest and S being the highest.

Job or task rules

  • Each job or task has a deadline and has to be completed in time
  • F and E rank jobs can be expected by anyone despite their ranks

And so on. 

Now let’s use the above theme for the sprint process.

Employee Onboarding

We can make employees onboard by asking them to fill in the following information and then we compile it to make a Guild card or status card.

Information need from Employee

  • Name
  • Experience (junior, senior or mid level employee)
  • Years of experience
  • Department (Front end, back end, QA etc)
  • Personal OKR and KPI

Status Card/Guild Card

Following information will be contained in the card and will be used to update it whenever the employee performs a task.

  • Name
  • Experience
  • Years of experience
  • Department
  • OKR and KPI
  • Level
  • Rank
  • Tasks completed
  • Tasks complexity(Bronze to Platinum – sprint points)
  • Deadlines met and missed
  • Rewards
  • Level ups
  • Points etc 

How does it work

The narrative setting and the employee information gathering and status card issuing is just the start of the process. Now let us see the rules of the work, criteria and others.

Rules and Regulations

  • Employees will be assigned ranks based on his seniority.
    • All Interns will be assigned “T” rank in the sense Trainee or apprentice 
    • Junior Employees will be given a rank of F and E
    • Mid level Employees C and D 
    • Senior level employees A and B 
    • Architects and above will be given S, SS, SSS etc
  • Each Ranks will have multiple levels and to clear each level a certain criteria has to be met.
  • The tasks will be verified by the senior employees or the organisation/teams can set a certain Metrics if it is to be taken to Users
  • Employees are free to choose the complexity tasks but it should be limited based on their Rank and level.
  • Employees should not take up the tasks which are 2 Ranks above them.
  • If an Employee chooses to take up a more complex task which is above his Rank he may do so by challenging and has to put something for a stake.
    • Stake generally including deducting the points or rewards earned or stalling the few level ups in case of failure of the challenge 
    • But incase of the employee succeeds in the challenge then he will be given rewards or be levelled up.
    • If an employee has cleared a sufficient amount of challenges far above his Rank then he might be given a chance to Rank Up after the consultation of the managers and management.
    • This is arranged to push forward the more competent people and also Quantifying through metrics about the contribution, showcasing the skill set and knowledge of the employee.

Roles Involved

` Role of the scrum master or product manager or Project will be as follows 

  • Project manager is the  “guild Master” where he assigns does planning, sees that the requests/tasks are having proper user stories and defined with proper story points
  • Product Manager will be the “requester” of tasks and based on the company he may also take the role of “Guild Master” where the features, PRDs and other requirements related to build the software are taken
  • Scrum master is “Adventure assistant” 
  • And other roles can be assigned or created based on the structure of the team.

Complexity 

The levels of the tasks are decided by the complexity of the task. And the complexity is based upon the story points, Higher the story points higher the level. And if more user stories or tasks are combined together then the complexity is higher. 

But one is free to define the Complexity which is feasible and comfortable for them.

Pre-requisites or Necessities

For the above format to work without any hassle the following are to be needed

  • Define roles and responsibilities of teams involved in the project
  • Define the complexity meaning
  • Set the criteria for the success and Define what success means
  • Roles of Individuals and Team leaders etc
  • OKRs and KPIs of the Team and Individual.

Conclusion 

By implementing the aforementioned method meticulously and documenting all relevant metrics, the individual’s achieved scores or points can serve as performance indicators in tasks. This approach simplifies the identification of strengths and weaknesses, enabling targeted improvement efforts. Additionally, it provides management with a comprehensive overview of employee performance, facilitating root cause analysis for any productivity issues or delays. For employees, these metrics act as a report card, potentially influencing hiring decisions by prospective employers.

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